It has been a really bumpy few months. Coming out transgender and then meeting and learning to understand transgender community in Canada has really made me understand how great things are and how much work there still needs to be done.
Being Gender Non-Conforming... I have learned that there are a lot of Non-Binary people that do not identify as Transgender. Even though the most wildly accepted definition of Transgender, "one that does not identify as the sex they were assigned at birth," new questions have risen.
It complicates things. You're probably thinking... great... another article another political piece stating that there is even more complexity in an issue that we know is already complex. No seriously though, there is war now. There is a war happening right now and it's invisible among those in the queer community.
Pride is this week and I've found a common pattern among Non-Binary individuals. Pride is "too commercial", "too cis normative", "not inclusive of transgender people let alone non-binary people." "PRIDE IS JUST A PARTY."
Remembering back to when my father used to ask me in high school, Adrian why do they have PRIDE? There isn't a STRAIGHT PRIDE, why do you need a GAY PRIDE? Most people believe it or not still don't know that PRIDE started as a political movement to fight the oppression and human rights of LGBT individuals between the 1960-1990's and so forth.
It's 2016 now and a lot has changed. I know I don't have to go into it, but I'll tell you what I have to go into.
LGBT & OPRESSION
Here is the reality whether you believe in it or not.
Whether you agree or not, it's not really politically correct anymore to refer to the QUEER community as LGBT.
You see... when you say LGBT now you completely leave out those that are Gender Non-Conforming. You also leave them out whenever you say brother and sisters of the LGBT Community. I know it's not easy to hear if you're born before 1995. Yes I said it, so prepared to feel old. A recent study came out a couple of months ago where the evidence now shows that more than 50% of Generation Z know someone that uses they/them pronouns. On the bright side for you if you're a Millenial, Gen X, Boomer, or Maturist... QUEER individual... more than 50% of Generation Z identify as QUEER.
So there are pros and cons to this possibly controversial study, depending on who you're speaking to.
Misgendering is something that happens in Transgender Community all the time, it's the most common form of passive Transphobia that can happen on a daily basis. The discussion between Gender Identity and Gender Expression has become a large explanation for the existence of the Gender Non-Conforming community but again, I want to clarify I cannot speak for the greater population, or any group of people.
Genderbread. Look it up.
Logically it makes complete sense, just because someone presents themselves as masculine doesn't make them a male and vice versa. Just because someone's Gender Expression appears to be masculine you shouldn't assume their Gender Identity.
Gender Non-Conforming people have been left out of the discussion for a very long time simply because people didn't know they could be Non-Binary until now. But the reality is that Gender is a Spectrum and Male and Female are not the only Gender Identities. Facebook added 50 Gender Identity Options a few years ago.
Misgendering someone typically involves misusing someone pronouns. Someone like myself uses they/them pronouns. I use they/them pronouns because my gender identity is neither male or female. I find they/them most convenient, I'm not going to go into the they/them debate. You use they/them singular all the time, so move on.
The most polite and least intrusive way to approach any Transgender or Gender Non-Conforming person is to ask...
What pronouns do you use?
It's that simple.
That person may respond with he/she/they/them/zhe and it's best to respect that persons pronouns if you still want them to stick around.
LGBTQIA+ or LGBTQ+
I'm sure you've seen this and I know it's not easy to grasp.
Whether you identify as QUEER or NOTHING...I've concluded to some degree that it makes sense that we really just need to get to a point where it really is more about the PRONOUNS and not the IDENTITY. A Pronoun according to GOOGLE is a word that can function by itself as a noun phrase and that refers either to the participants in the discourse (e.g., I, you ) or to someone or something mentioned elsewhere in the discourse (e.g., she,it, this ) . It should be more about our interactions with people on a daily basis and not about what we identify as. We should instead, be judged by what we can do with out identities, what we do with our minds and bodies. Getting to a place where we can learn to respect each other and gradually coming to accept that language is evolving. One day...looking at life more as verb, not a noun.
Life is something we do, not something we are. Aren't we hear more than to just exist, aren't we really here to communicate with each other?
Participants in discourse. Participating in life together?